Talk about a ‘Shell’ shock.
Paramount created a viral advertising campaign to get fans to create their own memes in order to promote the new movie Ghost in the Shell, a sci-fi crime blockbuster based on the Japanese manga of the same name, which opens on March 31.
The campaign generated an enthusiastic response, but predominantly from social justice warriors reiterating their claim that producers had “whitewashed” the movie by casting Scarlett Johansson in the role of the ‘Major’—a cyborg policewoman hunting a computer hacker—which they argue should be played by an Asian actor.
To coincide with a new video promo, in which Johansson said: “I am the hunted. I am the hunter. I am coming for them. I am Major”, Paramount invited the film’s Twitter followers to “Tell the world who you are”:
They duly responded:
— VzA (@ValerieComplex) March 11, 2017
— 葵白 (@darkpastels) March 13, 2017
— Pink Veronica 🏳️🌈 (@riotgrrlriot) March 13, 2017
— Enrique Rea ✍ (@HankRea) March 12, 2017
— James Brown (@JayB_124) March 12, 2017
— A.K. (@adrienne_kt) March 13, 2017
The controversy was first reported by Uproxx.
As for Johansson, she did score some brownie points for portraying Ivanka Trump on SNL but the Ghost in the Shell controversy, taken with the backlash against the trailer of her other new movie Rough Night, threatens her hitherto outstanding liberal street cred.